Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

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Dave
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Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Dave » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:50 pm

Just thought this might be an interesting topic for discussion, to stuff or not to stuff a Turkey?

I was advised very strongly by professional Chefs in the US never to stuff a Turkey and cook the Turkey with the stuffing inside.

Even more so when the Bird was over a certain size.

The reason given was that the stuffing inhibits the Turkey from getting to the "Safe" internal cooking temp by the correct time.

I'm sure there will be "opinions" for & against

Cheers, Dave
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Bear
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Post by Bear » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:05 pm

Your Chef's advice is correct, I have only stuffed small turkeys and even then only 'half stuff' whereby there is sufficient airflow inside the cavity. Even then I would very rarely stuff.

Vote 1, no stuff.

P.S. I used to be a chef
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Nath
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Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Nath » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:08 pm

I would say definitely no stuff aswell.
As you say, the time it takes to get the stuffing to safe temps (as it will soak up raw juices) is way too long.


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Nath

Groovy Gorilla
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Groovy Gorilla » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:09 am

I cant be stuffed changing now
The stuffing is my favourite part and I havent killed anyone or given them the trots for the last 20 odd years I've been doing it.
Big birds too, this year is a 7 kilo

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Dave
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Dave » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:10 am

Groovy Gorilla wrote:I cant be stuffed changing now
The stuffing is my favourite part and I havent killed anyone or given them the trots for the last 20 odd years I've been doing it.
Big birds too, this year is a 7 kilo

Minced pork and veal, pistachio, bacon, onion,butter, apple juice, bay leaf and thyme
Live dangerously :twisted:
My strong advice from the US was to never ever stuff, if you have to do it then always cook outside the bird.

The rule with Turkey is that you must bring the internal temperature of the Turkey up to 140F within the first 4 hours of cooking.

They also advised me never to cook a Turkey over about 7.5kgs in size ( mainly to the above rule ) and stuffing just increases your risk

Anyway GG hopefully you go well & your Turkey is great.

Cheers, Dave
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Importing Louisiana Pellet Grills into Australia
http://www.louisiana-grills-australia.com.au/
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Groovy Gorilla
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Groovy Gorilla » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:40 am

I agree with the science.
Its just anecdotally what Im doing has worked for me for a very very long time.
I will continue even though its technically wrong.


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chrisg
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by chrisg » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:10 pm

Heh,

Moot for me this year, with two people a full bird is very OTT, doing a breast portion - fresh, not one of those boxed things.

But for the full family I'm with GG, I cooked big birds, 4 to 5 kg, always on the Weber kettle for many years, always with a walnut stuffing and never had any ill effects. Those birds were always fresh, well rinsed and loosely stuffed then cooked indirect over a hot fire with hickory smoke - typical cooking time until done, about five hours from memory but very much cooked to temperature.

It's the way my large family have always done the Christmas turkey and we probably always will.

I think though there is a very real difference between what we do at home and what a commercial chef would do for safety. I've never been the culprit with food poisoning but I've had a couple of bouts of it from eating out, one time half my company were laid low by the food at the staff Christmas party. Serving out of the back of vans for an open air feast in 40 degree Perth weather was pretty reckless of the caterers.

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magste
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by magste » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:51 pm

This graph from amazingribs.com says it all. BTW I've done his turkey method three years in a row with great results.

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Groovy Gorilla
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Groovy Gorilla » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:34 pm

I stuff the neck area too (thats the best stuffing as it browns a little more rather than steams)
It protects the breast and adds moisture and flavour.
My stuffing has pork and veal and butter which all release some fat.
The wings and sides get protected by foil sausages (i screw up and lay along side the bird)
I cook it straight on the rack
The breast is furthest from the direct heat source.
If its getting too cooked a sheet of foil or bacon can protect it.
I dont do either.
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Grillnoob
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Grillnoob » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:17 pm

Interesting post. To sit on the fence, how about slow cooking some stuffing then adding it to the inside of the bird ?

Groovy Gorilla
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by Groovy Gorilla » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:36 pm

I made pasties on boxing day with all the leftover roast veg, turkey, ham, gravy and the stuffing.
They where excellent
I made heaps as we had lots of left overs
Had some more a few days back and still a few more left in the freezer.

The stuffing would make a good left overs sausage roll too
Just add puff

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aussieant32
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Re: Turkey - Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Post by aussieant32 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:50 am

I have a relative who is a pretty highly respected chef in this country, we had this same discussion over xmas.

Its not that you can't get it to the right temperature, its that you cant get it to the right temperature without overcooking the rest of the bird. There are ways to try and get around this, foil etc but its kind of like making the best of a bad situation.

He is the same as GG, will not sacrifice the internal stuffing, it not only gets all of the juices from the bird cooking into it, but at aromatics also flavour the bird. Basically the stuffing inside the cavity restricts the air flow through the bird causing the inside to cook slower than the out. Almost like cooking a steak all the way through but only cooking it on one side, the top might be perfect but the bit that's been in the pan the whole time will be ruined. What he does is makes his stuffing and puts it in 2 batches. Once batch is roasted in a dish separately, the other he makes into a small ball and puts it in the birds cavity, around a tennis ball size. He then makes another smaller one and stuffs it in the neck end flattening it into a 'patty' to allow air to escape. This allows full air circulation, moist meat and internally cooked stuffing.

Of course then the fights over the internal stuffing begin :P
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